Founded in 1941 by a group of leading Philippines businessmen, Philippine Airlines is the national carrier of the Philippines and one of the oldest airlines in Asia. We take a look at the airline's current fleet to see which planes are the oldest.

Headquartered in the city of Pasay, just south of Manila, Philippine Airlines operates from its primary hub at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). The full-service carrier also flies from Mactan–Cebu International Airport (CEB) on Cebu, Francisco Bangoy International Airport (DVO) on Davao and

Clark International Airport (CRK) 43 miles northwest of Manila. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, PAL Express, operates regional routes using a fleet of 26 Airbus and DeHavilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8s.

Philippine Airlines used to be one of Asia's biggest airlines

Before the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Philippine Airlines was one of Asia's largest airlines with a bright future ahead of it. Following several years of losses, Philippine Airlines got together with a group of banks and arranged a $1 billion loan for new planes. With money now, not a problem; Philippine Airlines placed orders with Boeing and Airbus for eight Boeing 747-400s, eight Airbus A330-300s, four Airbus A340-300s, two Airbus A340-200s, and twelve Airbus A320–200's.

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The 1997 Asian financial crisis hurt Philippine Airlines. Photo: Getty Images.

When the government of Thailand decided to unpeg the Thai Baht from the dollar in 1997, it triggered a financial meltdown in Asia. The crisis's effect on the Philippines was not as bad as it was on some of its neighbors, but with Philippine Airlines regional exposed, the impact was severe. The airline was forced to stop all flights to Europe and the Middle East and all domestic flights except those operated out of Manila.

Philippine Airlines went into receivership

Slashing its workforce and reducing its fleet size Philippine Airlines went into receivership and did not emerge until 2007. Since then, the airline has continued to grow, thanks in part to the nearly two million Filipinos who work overseas. Today Philippine Airlines serves 43 international and 31 domestic routes with a fleet of 53 Airbus and Boeing aircraft. According to the aviation data and statistics website ch-aviation Philippine Airlines fleet is composed of the following planes:

  • 4 x Airbus A320-200s
  • 18 x Airbus A321-200s
  • 6 x Airbus A321neos
  • 2 x Airbus A321neoNX
  • 11 x Airbus A330-300s
  • 2 x Airbus A350-900s
  • 10 x Boeing 777-300ERs

Taking a look at the above list, the ones that immediately jump out as being the oldest are the Airbus A320s, Airbus A330s, and the Boeing 777s.

Airbus A320-200

Air France was the launch customer for Airbus A320-200 in 1988, which means it has been in service with airlines worldwide for 34 years. Looking at Philippine Airlines four Airbus A320-200s, the aircraft were delivered between 2008 and 2012 and are now listed as being stored.

Airbus A321-200

German national flag carrier Lufthansa was the launch customer for the Airbus A321-200 in 1994, which means the aircraft has been in service with airlines for 28 years. Of the 18 Airbus A321s belonging to Philippine Airlines, RP-C9901 is the oldest, having been delivered to the airline on August 6, 2013. The aircraft is leased from Goshawk Management (Ireland) Ltd. No information is available regarding flight cycles and flight hours. Currently, the plane is active and is flying to various Asian destinations from Manila.

Airbus A330-300

Entering service with French domestic airline Air Inter in 1994, the Airbus A330-300 has been operational for 28 years. Of Philippine Airlines, Airbus A330-300s RP-C8782 is the oldest, having been delivered to the airline on September 27, 2013. The aircraft is owned by Philippine Airlines, and we do not have any data regarding flight cycles or flight hours. The plane is currently active serving on routes to the Middle East, Asia, and Hawaii.

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All of Philippine Airlines Airbus A320s are in storage. Photo: Getty Images

Boeing 777-300

Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific was the launch customer for the Boeing 777-300 in 1998, which means the aircraft has been in service for 24 years. Philippine Airlines oldest Boeing 777-300 is RP-C7777, a 12-year-old plane delivered on November 18, 2009. According to ch-aviation data, the aircraft has 43,429.00 flight hours and 5,847 flight cycles. The aircraft is currently active flying on routes between Manila and the west coast of the United States.

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